Barbara Adair is an award-winning novelist, academic and travel writer. Based in Johannesburg, her novels include the critically-acclaimed In Tangier We Killed the Blue Parrot and WILL, the Passenger Delaying Flight…
To get to know this multi-talented author, here are two interviews: one on her latest novel, WILL, the Passenger Delaying Flight… and another, first published in 2015, on her writing process and inspirations by Nicole Melanson from wordmothers.com.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED AS A WRITER?
I went to a writing workshop with Lionel Abrahams.
WHAT IS YOUR LATEST BOOK OR CURRENT PROJECT?
I have two books – one a sort of travel book, experimental, with pictures by an artist, another a novel based on the life of Rimbaud. Both are in waiting for a publisher but these are hard to find these days.
WHAT IS YOUR WORK ENVIRONMENT LIKE?
I work in a city flat with the roar of traffic in Johannesburg, and at a solitary bush retreat where there is only bird sound.
WHEN DO YOU WORK? WHAT’S A TYPICAL DAY IN YOUR WRITING LIFE?
I wake up, drink coffee, write and think and smoke.
WHY DO YOU WRITE?
I like it and it is a great way to pass the time. Initially, I just thought I could write; now I know I can.
WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Experimental writing inspires me. I get my ideas from reading, traveling, and talking.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST PART OF BEING A WRITER?
Being so alone. And the lack of inspiring publishers who only want a story that will sell is an obstacle.
WHAT IS YOUR VISION AS A WORD ARTIST OR BOOK INDUSTRY PROFESSIONAL?
Personally? To be recognized. On a larger scale: less dumbing down in readers.
Thank you, Barbara Adair!
— Nicole Melanson